Status Report

NASA Mars Picture of the Day: Cracked South Polar Plain

By SpaceRef Editor
November 21, 2003
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Mars Global Surveyor Mars Orbiter Camera

MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-551, 21 November 2003

NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC)
picture shows a complexly-cracked and eroded plain in the south polar
region of Mars. This image was acquired just a few weeks ago, in late
October 2003; as such, the processes that formed the
nearly regular pattern of squiggly troughs and cracks are
presently unknown. The image is
located near 85.0°S, 100.8°W, and covers an area
3 km (1.9 mi) wide. The picture is illuminated by sunlight
from the upper left.

Malin Space Science Systems and the California Institute of Technology
built the MOC using spare hardware from the Mars Observer mission.
MSSS operates the camera from its facilities in San Diego, California.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mars Surveyor Operations Project
operates the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft with its industrial
partner, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, from facilities in Pasadena,
California and Denver, Colorado.

SpaceRef staff editor.